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Retreat To Your Self

by Laila Ghattas

 women's wellness retreat art class

Aziza-  Lake Superior Holistic Wellness Sea Kayak Retreat- lodge sunset

 Thirteen Moons Women's retreat centre's organic garden


Martyrdom isn't all it's cracked up to be. Filling the well is not only a good idea, it's a necessity if you are going to function optimally in your everyday life and continue to meet a multitude of needs. Many busy people are running on near empty and this sad state of affairs isn't good for anyone in the picture. Women are particularly prone to falling into this as a way of life, taking care of everyone but themselves.

Going on retreat is one way to attend to your badly depleted spirit and there's a lot out there in the growing market to choose from to find a comfortable fit for your specific needs, budget and timeframe. There are gender specific retreat centers and programs as well as mixed groups. Book a private retreat or join a scheduled program. Retreat locations vary in size from B&B type lodgings to conference facilities with dorm rooms, to hotel class spaces.

Highly beneficial are retreats that offer opportunities to get back in touch with what is meaningful to you. This is done in a number of ways. Most important is to find a balance to allow enough time for stillness so that you can reflect, unwind and relax. Free time is essential for journal writing, reading a book, daydreaming, napping. Time to get in touch with what's going on in your emotional inner life is one of the most enduring gifts you can give yourself. You can seek out a therapeutically supportive environment with qualified professionals if you want to explore personal issues that need attention.

Retreats can offer opportunities to reconnect to your creative, playful side. Creativity is one of the most neglected areas of our adult lives and yet is vital to feeling self-fulfilled. Without an outlet like cooking (for pleasure), gardening, decorating, etc., this area gets little exercise in daily life. Creative self-expression like writing, art making, music, drumming or drama can be essential components to achieving happiness. Souls simply shrivel up without a creative outlet.

Time out in nature is healing in and of itself. Going on a retreat located in a beautiful natural setting away from city noises and pollutants will go a long way to restoring your feelings of balance and well being. Participating in activities such as walking, hiking, swimming, meditation or yoga help to reconnect you to your natural rhythms. Your body is your designated vehicle in this life, and worth investing time and energy into. Retreats can offer these leisure activities as self-guided or in classes suitable to varying levels of fitness and are an inspiring option to working out at the gym.

Mothers of young children are most appreciative of having a gorgeous meal prepared, creatively presented, and cleaned up afterwards. They revel in taking in the loving nourishment without interruption, and at a pace all their own. This event is a small miracle in a woman's life and arrives punctually for the duration of your stay at a reputable retreat center.

Spa treatments help refresh and revive your tired neglected body. Just being in someone else's hands for a mere hour can work wonders on burnt out caretakers and career women. Go ahead and experience a massage, Shiatsu, Reflexology or Reiki treatment.

Taking the time out to remember who you are, what you like to do, how you feel and what it's like to just be, for however long, is a wonderful way to replenish your spirit. It will help you be more focused and genuinely available for demands of family and work upon your return. Until the next retreat beckons.


Article, photos and copyright by Laila Ghattas, founder of Aziza Healing Adventures.


 Laila Ghattas international retreats Laila Ghattas is an artist, Gestalt therapist, Reiki practitioner, group facilitator, public speaker and founder of Aziza Healing Adventures. Laila facilitates Truly Madly Deeply Art & Therapy workshops, creative self-discovery retreats and gentle eco journeys for women, couples and mixed groups in beautiful locations in Canada and abroad.

To find more information about Aziza Healing Adventures click here

To learn more about Laila Ghattas pleased click here

Contact us at 416-696-0086 or email

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